Staying Married: How did you get past the disorder?

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ImDealing
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 59
   Posted 9/25/2009 7:49 AM (GMT -7)   
I am back for now for a little bit at least.  My ex-wife-to-be started a divorce during a manic phase.  She now admits this, regrets her decision, and wants to try to get back together. 
 
Of course there are other issues, I accept that.  But, if she had been able to see past the disorder, maybe she would have worked on things or given it time instead of hurting both our daughter and me this way.
 
(edited myself for honesty here.)
We have been near divorce twice before this one, this time to actually filing.  Those other times, one was due totally to my depression and taking myself off meds.  The last time was a mixture of my depression, and her just starting her medicine regime after being diagnosed as bipolar.  This time it was her being in a manic phase, combined with how BP has changed her personality.
 
I won't try again if she can't somehow get beyond the walls of her disorder.
 
Please help me.
 
I have read many comments on here from those suffering from BP, that their spouses are incredibly important to them, are their rock, and they appreciate them.
 
Maybe you never left your spouse, I don't know.  Maybe you never struggled the way my spouse has.
 
How did you get beyond the feelings that you may have experienced in your depression or mania?  How did you keep it firmly in mind that these feelings were temporary, and that to act on them was the wrong thing to do?
 
 

Post Edited (ImDealing) : 9/25/2009 9:12:21 AM (GMT-6)


serafena
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 9/25/2009 8:33 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi ImDealing,

When in a manic phase especially, it is very difficult for some people to see beyond the disorder. It's very hard to believe the feelings are temporary -- this is how depressed people become suicidal too. The most you can really ask of her is that she TRIES. She needs to keep all her doc appointments (she is seeing a psych, right?) She needs to stay on her meds, even when she feels okay. She needs to see a therapist. If she's doing all these things, she's fighting the disorder's chaos as best she can.

What you can do is to try and let go of some of your anger. Remember she's not well -- it's not always personal, even if the attacks can be. Try to remember what is the illness talking and what's her. And talk to a therapist yourself. Whether family counseling or individual therapy, learning how to deal with bipolar from a professional can be invaluable.

Good luck,
serafena
Serafena
Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum
Bipolar II

"Bipolar disorder can be a great teacher. It's a challenge, but it can set you up to be able to do almost anything else in your life." - CARRIE FISHER


ImDealing
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 59
   Posted 9/25/2009 8:51 AM (GMT -7)   
Serafena, thanks for replying. I'm not angry, I just don't want to try anymore if she is not willing to see beyond the mania. (I know I made angry posts in the past ... I apologized before and I apologize again.)

If I could show her the posts of what other people do, maybe it can act as a roadmap.

She had her first psychiatrist appt in the last month. Up to that point, her meds were prescribed by her family doctor.

She was seeing a therapist, but he had no experience in dealing with patients with BP. She has now had one appt. with a psychologist who has experience with mood disorders. If we do try to have a relationship, I want to be able to go to at least one of these appts to have my concerns addressed.

Lora1967
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 9/27/2009 6:36 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi I am Bipolar and have some marrital promlems from that I even went as far as to leave my husband in a manic phase. I was very self destructive The doctor put me on INVEGA it has saved me from myself it is designed for scizophrenia but they are using it more and more for bipolar. Great drug in the meantime be patience of you can get the divorce and let some other guy deal with the issues
take care Lora

serafena
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 9/28/2009 9:08 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Lora,

Welcome to HealingWell and the bipolar board.

Glad to hear you found a medication that works for you. Have you been on it long?

serafena
Serafena
Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum
Bipolar II

"Bipolar disorder can be a great teacher. It's a challenge, but it can set you up to be able to do almost anything else in your life." - CARRIE FISHER


Bloom
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 10/29/2009 6:52 PM (GMT -7)   
Hey ImDealing,

I was just wondering about your situation--what it's like now?

One thing that struck me about your post was the statement, "Please help me." I know what that feels like -- the desperation. My wife left me last June in a mania, carried on an affair for a good part of the summer, and now wants to get back together with me. These last few months have been the hardest of my life.

I hope you're doing OK.

Bloom

ImDealing
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 59
   Posted 10/30/2009 6:34 AM (GMT -7)   
The divorce is still occurring. The marriage is dead. I am doing fine, and so is my child.

One month ago the stbx came out of her episode and admitted that yes she had been in an episode. She no longer believes that she was manic during that period of time. She said her psych told her that she seems to have been making clear and rational decisions. Perhaps its might fault for using manic rather than hypomanic. She was 100% definitely in a hypomanic phase. I also saw her rapid cycling days before she made her decision to leave. Not that she will ever be honest enough with her psych to tell him that.

She forced the divorce to start days after she left. She forced me to refinance the house (or sell it if I had wanted to) so she could pay off her debts and get started on her new wonderful life.

What now?

Strangely, we are still seeing each other. In the hopes of a possible future for us, she took herself off the dating sites and stopped actively seeking to find men to go out with. (She didn't date during our marriage, but did within days of leaving ... then she freaked out because the guy was "just not that into her")

She admits she loves me (I love her too despite everything) and is second guessing her decision to leave ... but its too late for the marriage. Everyone I talk to on these kinds of boards says that we are simply afraid to leave our comfort zone and that we both have to move on. They also tell me that if there is any hope, that I need to cut her off entirely until she deals with the reasons why she can't stay committed during her episodes.

But here is the deal. In a way, this is almost a better situation. We see each other, and then we go our separate ways. She doesn't have to deal with my insecurities due to my depression, and I don't have to walk on eggshells all the time, worried that a word, a glance, a touch will set her off.

Bloom
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 10/30/2009 8:05 AM (GMT -7)   
Hey ImDealing,

Do you think what the others are saying is true--that you're afraid to move out of your comfort zone and move on?

As for my own situation, I can say yes, I am afraid to move on. But I don't want to be. As I said, I'm currently separated from my wife, who lives 2 hrs away. There's a big part of me that wants to divorce my wife after all that's happened, but I'm afraid. When I tried to bring it up with my wife last time I was visiting her, I started having chest pains and began to run a fever. At the same time, given the pain she and the illness have caused me, the idea of moving back in with her and resuming our life together causes me even more alarm.

I hope that you're able to find closure to your situation as well as happiness, and that your wife is able to stay well and also find happiness.

Bloom

ImDealing
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 59
   Posted 10/30/2009 8:31 AM (GMT -7)   

Hopefully you and your wife will be able to find peace as well Bloom. 

If you two ultimately decide to try to reconcile, take it nice and slow.  She needs to stop cheating, and own responsibility for taking care of herself and deal with her disorder. 

Based on your comments about feeling panic/stress that caused you to get physically ill, it sounds like you could benefit from some self reflection and taking care of your own issues.  (This from a guy who knows he has his own issues ... please don't take offense. :-)   )

Re: my situation.  Its probably true that we both see each other as safe and are staying in a comfort zone ... but we've been together for 20 years.  After the initial pain of the separation and divorce, and working through all the negative emotions, we came out the other sid still liking each other.  If it wasn't for how financially damaging it would be for me to stay married to her, I would ask her to put the divorce on hold.

She is a wonderful woman.  Even though the BP caused some terrible things, it brought some great things as well.  She is exciting, and creative.  She pulls me out of myself and I feel joy around her.  There is little downside to me to continue seeing her for now.  Except for the little thing of not being able to move on and possibly have a relationship with someone else ... something I cannot even fathom.

I still have faith that marriages and relationships can be successful when one of the partners has BP.  It takes committment, love, honesty, and communication from both sides.

For now, I will continue haunting this board, and if something comes up that I can contribute too, you will hear from me again. 


serafena
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 10/30/2009 9:21 AM (GMT -7)   
ImDealing,

It's good to see you again and to hear how things are going. Thank you for your insights.

serafena
Serafena
Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum
Bipolar II

"Bipolar disorder can be a great teacher. It's a challenge, but it can set you up to be able to do almost anything else in your life." - CARRIE FISHER


happy bill
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 1132
   Posted 10/31/2009 4:01 PM (GMT -7)   
We work every day to get past this disorder.. There is no easy quick fix for bp disorder. The person who has the disorder has to be serious about taking their meds and accepting that this thing will forever be a part of their life. The person who is married to the disorder has to understand that we have only so much control, and that mistakes will be made and they will have to have a huge supply of forgivness and understanding. I'm the BP one and have allmost destroyed my marriage by my affairs. My wife and i had a huge row, blood was drawn(mine), cops were called, yet despite all that we are still standing and stronger than ever before. We both have to work at it everyday but that really isnt any different from any other good marriage. Do i still have unhealthy urges and self destructive behavior? Yes, that never goes away. But medications and therapy have given me the upper hand in controling them.
In the marriage the BP person has to control their meds and accept that they have very little control over the urges without the meds. The non BP spouse needs to help control the stresses that can trigger problems if it is in their power.
All in all i am a better husband, better lover, better father, and all around better person on meds than off. Were there things that i had to give up, yes. But the trade off is worth it and all in all i am much much happier person today than i was a year ago.
Hope this helps. Bill

Post Edited (happy bill) : 10/31/2009 5:04:23 PM (GMT-6)

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